How harmful is sunburn in connection with sauna or steam bath?
In principle, a sauna bath is good for the skin, but not if you suffer from sunburn. If you have a sunburn, you should avoid anything that heats your skin. This primarily refers to the sauna, steam bath or whirlpool. In this article, we will give some reasons against going to the sauna after a sunburn.
What are the reasons against a sauna bath after sunburn?
The heat in the sauna or steam room causes your blood vessels to dilate and more blood to flow to your skin. The blood delivers nutrients, oxygen, and immune system cells to your skin. In the case of a sunburn, the increased blood flow through the dilated pores can cause burn blisters to worsen and possibly even begin to bleed. In addition, irritants can enter open pores and put additional stress on sensitive skin.
Sauna visits with sunburn can lead to dehydration
A sunburn means you’ve probably been out in the sun and sweating, so you may already be somewhat dehydrated. After a sunburn, it is more likely that the body water will evaporate from the skin cells, leaving the skin dry and the entire body dehydrated. Going to the sauna after a sunburn is basically doubling your dehydration. Therefore, you should do just the opposite. Stay out of the sun. Avoid the sauna and steam room. Refrain from anything that makes you sweat. And take plenty of fluids.
Using the sauna can aggravate (or even cause) blisters
As mentioned above, your blood vessels dilate when you are exposed to the heat of the sauna. Blood flow in your body, including your skin, is increased. Normally, this is good for your overall health. Unfortunately, this is not the case when you have a sunburn, especially if it is a blistering sunburn. Sunburns lead to inflammation. This means that increased blood flow and other fluids are already flooding the area. When enough fluid accumulates in the inflamed tissue, blisters form.
If you sauna and the blood vessels continue to dilate, only more fluid will be released to the already inflamed skin. Otherwise, bubbles and capillaries can burst, leading to red spots and spider veins. It should come as no surprise that sauna visits aggravate blistering. More surprising, however, is that heat exposure can sometimes aggravate and even blister a sunburn that has not yet blistered. There have been cases where a person with a normal, non-blistered sunburn went to the sauna only to find afterward that blisters had formed.
Sunburns can increase skin sensitivity and vulnerability
A healthy, moisturized layer of skin protects the body from bacteria and other pollutants. A sunburn damages this protective layer, making the skin more sensitive and susceptible to irritants and bacteria. Refrain from shaving sunburned skin, as you will physically irritate the skin and potentially introduce bacteria into the skin. Avoid further skin irritation from perfumes, bath salts or oils. Also, do not rub off your sunburn. After washing, gently dab the skin with a clean towel.
Steam baths and hot tubs also have a negative effect on a sunburn
Steam baths and hot tubs heat the skin just like saunas do. We also sweat just as much in a steam sauna and hot tub, which increases fluid loss. At the same time, blood circulation is increased, further inflaming already inflamed tissue. This can be even worse with a sunburn than when visiting the sauna, as the wet element makes the tissue even more susceptible to bacterial invasion. Basically, you should avoid saunas, steam baths and the like, because the heat causes discomfort and aggravates the inflammation.
Tips for the treatment of sunburns
- Apply cold compresses. Take a cold, damp towel and press it on your sunburned skin for about 10 minutes. This will cool the skin and relieve the pain. You can do this several times a day if needed.
- Take cold showers and baths. They don’t have to be ice-cold, but you can cool the skin with cold or lukewarm water while bathing or showering.
- Apply aloe vera. The clear gel from the aloe vera plant has been shown to promote healing and can also help hydrate sunburned skin. Conveniently, this gel is included in many over-the-counter creams.
Natural home remedies for sunburn
Heading to the sauna or steam room with sunburn? There are a number of natural home recipes and remedies for sunburn that can help you enjoy the sauna or steam room faster again!
- Aloe Vera – Either take the juice from an aloe vera tree or get a special aloe vera cream from the pharmacy. Spread it on your skin and you will feel the soothing cooling after just a second!
- Baking soda – To do this, mix baking soda with a glass of water. Put a compress in the mixture and let it soak in. Place the compress on the areas that are exposed to the sun.
- Honey – Honey is considered an all-rounder in natural medicine. It can also do a lot for your body when it comes to sunburn! Simply spread liquid honey on the sunburn on your skin. Wait 15 minutes, let it soak in, and then shower off.
- Natural yogurt – Natural yogurt is often used as a natural moisturizer. Yogurt provides many important nutrients for your skin. Let the yogurt soak into your skin for half an hour, then wash it off in the shower.
- Milk – Milk has always been the skin care product of the rich and beautiful. Even in Ancient Egypt, the beauties took their milk baths there. Today, of course, it does not have to be a bathtub full of milk. Milk is applied to the affected area with a soaked pad or cloth.
- Green tea – Green tea is super healthy, not only for drinking! Put bags of green tea in ice water for a short time and then place on the sunburn. Great for sunburns on the eyelids.
- Green clay – Green clay is used specifically for face masks. To do this, mix the clay with water and leave it on the skin for a good 2 hours. It will set nicely, but with a little water it will come off naturally.
- Calendula oil – Best massaged in before bed and left on overnight. Calendula oil soothes and calms damaged skin.
- Tomatoes – Due to the high vitamin A content of tomatoes, it will help you speed up skin renewal. Do not eat the tomatoes in the first place, but put them on the sunburn. Cut the tomato into small strips beforehand.
Our purchase recommendation: Aloe vera gel BIO
Made from pure aloe vera juice, this gel combines the aspects of gentle, natural and effective moisturizing care and gives your skin a moment of soothing relaxation. It moisturizes and nourishes the skin, has a soothing effect and is quickly absorbed without leaving any residue. The vital substances of the aloverose, which occurs naturally in the aloe vera plant, have a large share in these positive properties.